Stuttgart loanee Oriol Romeu has hinted he will consider leaving parent club Chelsea next summer should the option of a permanent move beckon.
The 22-year-old midfielder signed a new three-year contract at Stamford Bridge in the summer only to join the Bundesliga club weeks later on a season-long loan deal, his second consecutive spell away from the club.
The Spaniard enjoyed a bright start to his Blues career following his arrival in 2011 but a serious ligament injury curtailed his progress that year. Romeu has made just 22 appearances for the club as a result.
After spending last season in his homeland on loan to Valencia the midfielder will test himself in Germany this season and has not ruled out a permanent move to Stuttgart or another Bundesliga side should the chance present itself.
"Maybe I am staying for a longer period of time," Romeu told Kicker. "You cannot rule anything out in football.
"I have experienced a technically demanding game in the Spanish league, football in England is more physical, and the Bundesliga is a mixture of that.
"My ambition is to quickly learn the German league. I want to help VfB Stuttgart achieve a good season and be a full part of the team."
Romeu was brought to west London from Barcelona by Andre Villas-Boas in 2011. In his second season at the club, the midfielder suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
But his loan spell at the Mestalla last season encouraged Chelsea to tie him down to a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2017.
Having added Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas to their midfield in the past nine months, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has opted to allow a number of bright midfield prospects to leave the club on temporary deals.
In addition to Romeu, Marco van Ginkel has also left to join AC Milan on loan, while Mario Pasalic, signed from Hadjuk Split this summer, has joined Elche until the end of the season.